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Old 03-14-2007, 12:07 AM   #1
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Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[FONT="Arial"][/FONT][COLOR="Purple"][/COLOR]Hi My name is Jaylynn5,I had L4and L5 fusion in 2002,I had accident in Aug of 06 and I now need surgery to repair fusion and I have a blown disc below fusion,My doctor wants to go through the stomach,so he doesnt have to cut back muscles again.Has anyone ever had this done?and info Please .Jaylynn5

 
Old 03-14-2007, 12:37 AM   #2
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

jaylynn5!! Welcome to the board. You have found a great place to post and I am sure someone will soon post that has had surgey this way. Both of my fusions have been posterior fusions with hardware. Supposedly the fusion thru the stomach allows for a better fusion.

Good luck and I pray your surgery goes well. Please keep us posted.

 
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:30 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Jaylynn,

I have not yet had mine, but its scheduled for May 1 and its going to be through the stomach to get better access to the front of spine and insert the cage easier. It seems there are a lot of "experienced people" on here that have had it this way with success, so look around on some of the older postings and yuo should find some answers there.

Ill keep you posted when I have the procedure on this website, unless yours is first then you get to tell us about it first!!

Good luck and I feel your pain.

Aaron

 
Old 03-14-2007, 04:25 AM   #4
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Hi Jaylynn,

Welcome to the boards! I have had 2 fusions. One was 20 years ago, which was done through the back. But my most recent (7 weeks ago) was done through the stomach, which they call an ALIF. They fused L3-4 and replaced 2 discs with spacers. They also installed screws and hardware.

I would imagine you have lots of questions? Please ask and I will do my best to let you know what my experience has been like so far.

fusionman

 
Old 03-14-2007, 05:34 AM   #5
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Wink Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Hi Jaylynn,
My name is Michelle and I have been part of the boards for about a year. I had two level ALIF/PLIF last July. They went thru my stomach first to set the cages then flipped me over to do the screws and stuff. My recovery went ok-I hear so many newer people going thru so much of what I did-the burning calves,sleep problems(get a prescription sleep aid!),PT soreness and the experimenting with meds to find the right combination. My stomach incision healed fast and had less complications than my back. I am 7 months post op and back to pretty much my normal life. I am fusing according to schedule. I do still take Lyrica and Cymbalta as I work thru the nerves healing from extreme sciatica. On a rare accasion I will take a Lortab if I do too much but I have been cleared to take extra strength Advil and it works for me.
I apologizes to my back buddies for not posting for a while but I have gotten back to working 40 hours a week, taking care of my house and family, hanging out in my garden. We are moving in June to Kansas City area! I guess I won't be "settled in tex" anymore! LOL
BLessings,
Michelle

 
Old 03-14-2007, 06:02 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[COLOR="Navy"]Welcome Jaylynn,

I had three level fusion done with both ALIF/PLIF incision. The front incision is about 5" long. I had inside stiches and peri striips on the outside for this one. It caused me very little grief for healing. The back was closed with staples. My doc said due to the length of it, he had to use staples. He felt the stiches would pull out...

Ask away if you have any questions and we will try to give them a go...

I am two years post surgery..

Welcome, once again...
Jill[/COLOR]

 
Old 03-14-2007, 06:16 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[SIZE="3"][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR][/SIZE] Thanks everyone for there replys,I am to have surgery on the 18th of next month,Dr.told me to get off all pain meds,which is proving to be hard,what do you do for the pain? Going through the stomach is scaring me,just dont know what to expect.thanks all

 
Old 03-14-2007, 06:19 AM   #8
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

That is a new one.....get off the pain meds........how are you supposed to do that when you are in pain. Hmmmmmmmm......

 
Old 03-14-2007, 06:20 AM   #9
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[QUOTE=fusionman;2856893] Hi Jaylynn,

Welcome to the boards! I have had 2 fusions. One was 20 years ago, which was done through the back. But my most recent (7 weeks ago) was done through the stomach, which they call an ALIF. They fused L3-4 and replaced 2 discs with spacers. They also installed screws and hardware.

I would imagine you have lots of questions? Please ask and I will do my best to let you know what my experience has been like so far.

fusionman[/QUOTE]
Hey thanks for your reply,I do have some ?'s I am scared,but need to know what to expect,can you fill me in?how long off work?dr, told me 1-2 days in hospital,amount of pain?my last one was bad,I was on the table over 6 hrs,had me out for 5 days in hospital,dont even remember much of it.thanks jaylynn5

 
Old 03-14-2007, 07:16 AM   #10
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[COLOR="Navy"]Jaylynn,
I was told that it would be 3-6 weeks before I could return to work. I actually think that you will find that it will be AT LEAST 6 weeks before you feel up to it.

My guess that you will be in the hospital at least two days. I was told 3-5 days for my three level fusion.

What did the dr. recommend for pain control if he wants you off of all pain meds? Did he give you some options? I would call him on this one.

The stomach incision actually caused less pain than the back did. Also, when you have the front incision, you don't get quite so bloated and swollen from being face down for several hours.... My surgeon used peri strips that fell off when they were ready to, so not a problem. I did have to watch showering until they said it was OK for water on the incision.[/COLOR]

 
Old 03-14-2007, 07:31 AM   #11
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shawley HB User
Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Hi,
I had my fusions done from the back ,but I to have heard you have a better fusion sucess going through the front, but I don't know if I would want a scar on my tummy , bad enough my back looks like a extended butt crack I wouldn't want scar's on both sides..UNLESS I had hard times fusing (I do)

Good Luck I'm sure everything will work out just great

 
Old 03-14-2007, 08:09 AM   #12
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Hi Jaylynn!

Welcome to the Boards! I'm scheduled to have the ALIF, March 27th. My dr. said the success for fusion is better through the stomach and also the dr. has a better view of placing the cage. For the ALIF, you also have to have another surgeon do the open and close. I will have a cardiovascular surgeon.
He said it is very common. I too, was hesitant about it, but now feel good about it. I had one other back surgery and have a lot of scar tissue, so I'm glad he isn't going through the back to disturb the muscles there again. I will post how it goes after my surgery. My best to you!

Harmony

 
Old 03-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #13
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

Jaylynn
Welcome you will find alot of support here. I had my surgery thru the back.
I have heard of Dr's asking patients to discontinue pain meds for a short time before surgery. This is because if your system is used to the pain meds it is harder to control your pain after the surgery.

Good luck and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 
Old 03-14-2007, 10:36 AM   #14
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Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

I forgot to mention , once you have this ALF you won't likely ever have another one do to scar tissue , it is more painful to have scar up front than in the back..Atleast that's the way my surgeon explained it to me cause i ask why he didn't go in from the front..It's a one shot deal but a very sucess rate of fusion..I would do it in a heart beat if it were me..

Have a great day

 
Old 03-14-2007, 10:41 AM   #15
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Harmony5 HB User
Re: Has anyone had a back fusion through the stomach?

[QUOTE=shawley;2857658]I forgot to mention , once you have this ALF you won't likely ever have another one do to scar tissue , it is more painful to have scar up front than in the back..Atleast that's the way my surgeon explained it to me cause i ask why he didn't go in from the front..It's a one shot deal but a very sucess rate of fusion..I would do it in a heart beat if it were me..

Have a great day [/QUOTE]

 
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